Newcastle have one eye on a return to the Premier League as they face Preston NE at St James Park tonight (KO 19:45).
Newcastle are all but guaranteed a place in the Premier League next season as they face Preston at St James Park tonight.
The Toon currently lie in the second automatic promotion place on 85 points, seven points behind Championship leaders Brighton but more importantly six points in front of third placed Reading, so barring an almighty upset in the remaining three games Newcastle should be promoted.
Newcastle v Preston Form Guide
Having only picked up only two wins in their last eight matches, it seems that the Championship title has all but slipped out of the hands of Newcastle into the hands of Brighton, as the Sea-Siders currently have a healthy lead ahead of the Magpies, despite having lost to Norwich on Friday night.
Just 3 more points will all but secure automatic promotion to the Premier League next season due to Newcastle’s superior goal difference of +37 compared to their closest threat of Reading’s who somehow just have a +1 goal difference despite sitting in 3rd place.
To be fair to Rafa Benitez, his side have done exactly as asked of them and have justified their pre season support as promotion candidates. The investment into the team has paid off and Newcastle’s squad has genuinely looked stronger than any other side in the division.
Although Newcastle are ideally placed, the side has disappointingly fallen away in recent weeks with only one point taken in their last nine, which has left Brighton surging in front to take the Championship title.
A win tonight would mathematically guarantee promotion to the Premier League and although the pressure will be on in front of a partisan Toon support, you would expect Newcastle to take all three points in front of their home fans against a struggling Preston outfit.
North End have nothing really to play for, with the side currently in the safety of 11th place, and safe from the worry of relegation and unable to make the playoffs. The side looks to already have one eye on the beach with three consecutive defeats and its difficult to see the Lilywhites causing an upset tonight.
Newcastle have played some really good football this season at times, and have dominated games with ease more often than not. Preston are a very physical side, and have proven themselves above anyone’s expectation this season so tonight may not be as straight forward as most people think.
Preston are an organised team, and Newcastle might have a tougher time than many might think so it may not be all one way traffic, even at St. James’s Park.
What are the odds on Newcastle vs Preston NE?
Newcastle are predictably the favourites to take all three points tonight but their odds of 8/15 does a look a touch on the skinny side, considering their recent form. The draw is priced at 7/2 while those who expect Preston to upset Newcastle’s promotion charge can back the away win at 7/1.
The loss of top goalscorer Dwight Gayle has been a blow to Newcastle in recent weeks, with goals surprisingly hard to come by, even at home. Much will depend on ex Ipswich star Daryl Murphy, who has lead the line in his absence.
The Toon have only managed to find the net four times in their last four matches and another low scoring affair may be on the cards tonight.
Preston do leak a few goals on their travels but the pressure and expectation may be turned up a notch tonight, with Premier League promotion within touching distance.
I’m expecting Newcastle to grind out the win tonight, but it may be closer than most people expect with so much at stake.
Bet365 price up the Newcastle win and under 2.5 goals scored in the match at 3/1 and that price looks plenty of value all things considered – that’s our selection for tonight’s game.
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